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China 95, United States 34, Us 26, U.s. 18, Taiwan 18, Canada 18, Beijing 5, John Thornton 4, Jerry Cohen 4, Fong 4, America 4, Etc. 4, Cheng Li 4, Breyer 4, Alford 3, London 3, Paul 3, Tpp 3, Jon Huntsman 2, Sandy 2,
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  CSPAN    Today in Washington    News/Business. News.  

    November 29, 2012
    6:00 - 9:00am EST  

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comments are a little less
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than one hour. [speaking in french] that is it for my french. thank you very much for joining us. it is an honor to have you. let me explain how this will work. we have been here since o'clock this morning. we have had a packed day. this might be the highlight. here is what we will do -- i have a few questions i would like to ask the prime minister. we appreciate you doing this format. i think this is more fun. >> i appreciate you having us here. >> i will ask a few questions.
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if you have questions, when we get to that point, i will acknowledge you. i will ask you to identify yourself. put your question in the form of the question. ask something that he has already answered. you need no introduction. the contact is that prime minister harper has governed during a point innnnnnnn histort was s challenging. it has been challenging economically, from a security point of view that is happening in the world today. i do not think the most challenging period was1812. it was world war ii. during that period, canada's
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banks was declared the sun is in the world. no canadian banks failed. while we were having our lehman moment. forbes magazine declared canada as the best place on earth to do business. that is pretty good. let me get to the first question. some observers from canada who are having insight into your thinking have opined that in the last four years obama "at canada." "lost cananade." da." >what is the state of the
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relationship? >> i disagree. i said it is an important relationship as canadians with the united states. one of the best thing this country has it is neighborhood. i was talking to prime minister netanyahu. [indiscernible] we have the united states on one side. it is the best neighbor you can have. we are fortunate it is the responsibility of canada to have as good a relationship we can while protecting our relationship with the u.s. with president obama, we are
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embarking on an unprecedented exercise an effort at further integration and selling of the border. this is important for both countries. i not agreebama and i on everything. these countries a share so many in common -- an economy and larger value system. we share security needs and we share security threats. when you have a relationship that close, it cannot help but be good. it has been good. i look for to four more years of working with president obama. >> you just returned from asia. you seem dead like them in a little jet lag. >> president obama is in asia. his first trip when he was elected was here in ottawa.
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his first trip for his reelection was asia. you both you asia as important both of you are committed to enhancing free trade. you are looking at 50 trade deals. i wanted to ask you -- when our organization was founded 25 years ago, we were founded to be a proponent of free trade. there are not enough voices on either side of the border that point out the benefits. that is why we started it. my observation is that canadians are more open to free trade than americans. their message is of protectionism. what are your observations? what do you attribute the difference to? >> in negotiations on trade agreement -- we are and 50 to go
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she asians. one is with the european union. ppp is nother big one. we are in the later stages of the european negotiations. that is 27 negotiations. there has been a chairman to shift in this country since i got involved in politics in the mid 1980's. one of the ships have trade protectionism. it is probably true -- i cannot remember the numbers. it is probably true that canadians were in sync a plea more protectionist in their political views their americans were. we signed the canada-united states trade agreement. that was an important event in the united states.
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it was bigger in this country because people worried about trade. people were protectionists. those who opposed the trade agreement and did so vocally and extremely and predicted not nearly disadvantages to the canadian economy and disappearance as canada as a nation. they took a bit of a credibility hit on that because that did not come to pass. this is a turning point. canadians saw that we had a deep trade relationship with the united states before that, but it grew. it has not impacted our ability to be independent. it has resulted in vast increases in economic
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opportunity for canadians and canadian families. that is the difference. we went through a traumatic and cathartic exercise -- the canadian people decided. that has invalidated by history. i watched what is happening in the u.s. very closely. i would agree with a surprising amount of protectionism on both sides of the political divide. in this country, it is very different. protectionist discord on the right is virtually nonexistent. on the left, they complain -- campaign against trade. they purport to be for it. they know they cannot win the
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broader argument. canada is making a decision. this is a small, open a economy. it is a trade dependent economy. more than the united states. individual trade decisions can be controversial. the concept of being part of the global economy is not a challenging concept. the united states is still the core of the world trading system. i am surprised at the level of protectionist discord. >> that is stop production for us in d.c. we will continue to fight that battle. you joined us for a roundtable. cnbc did a roundtable in chicago i will share with our guest -- as a question -- ask
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what the biggest impediment was to economic growth. we have lots of different sectors. i thought i would hear the answer that you hear from business leaders of the time, which is a -- any more transparency, predictability, and more regulatory coherence. i am not sure if you remember. everyone ended up saying all of the things i mentioned are important to business, but people said -- everyone agreed about access to skilled work force. i found that surprising. what are the kinds of things that the private sector and government can do to build the kind of work force our economy will require in the future? >> this is -- i was not
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surprised by the answer. this is the answer i hear that most business round tables around the country. there are regional differences. in western canada, it is more of concern. this is in my judgment the biggest challenge our country faces. there are a lot out there. the big one is the shortage of labor in key areas. even with the end of the recession and the slow recovery, this problem continues to manifest itself. it was getting a kick before the big crash. it is coming back quickly. one of the reasons it is coming back is demographic. a demographic shift toward the aging of our publication -- population. -- the cost-reality
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is our social and cultural and hard to explain. choices in terms of the education system tend to lead us to what appears to be a chronic shortage of certain skills that are skilled trades, scientists, and to nears. it is consistent and persistent. what we are trying to do as the government is improve our labor markets, make certain investments to get people to be aware of opportunities in the skilled trades and complete that trading. we are readjusting our immigration programs so they will be more accurate. traditionally, we have extremely
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passive immigration. we are trying to change that so we start to identify the needs we have and we find those needs in the world. we are finding -- we used to be skilledtition for and immigration. those are some of the things we are doing. we need other levels of government to one some of those things. the provinces are responsible for the labor market. we are always open to whatever we can do with business and a partnership of business. it will be is persistent challenge. >> the cisco academy desk training. -- does training. canada has said they can hire entry engineering student in
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canada next year and they would not have enough people for their approved project. that reminds me of the subject of the keystone project. it is in the hands of nebraska. they will come to a conclusion next month then it goes back to the administration. does it concern you for canadian oil and energy generally that the iea is saying that the u.s. will be able to meet its own oil and gas means in a decade? do you worry about markets for canadian energy? >> everybody knows our view on keystone. it is not just a great project, but a great security project.
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it makes more sense to bring north american oil into the united states than venezuelan or far eastern or middle eastern oil. there is a process in the united states. the president will let the process play out he will make a decision. i accept him at his word on that. in the context of keystone, it has been a bit of an opportunity for this country to understand that we do need to sell our energy products outside the united states. canada is the most energy of funded country in the world. canada will be a significant supplier of the energy sources of the future. it makes no sense in a global economy that we are and for canada to sell all of its energy products furtively exclusively
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to its own marketer or to the u.s. energy -- people in the energy business understand that have to look for other opportunities. >> an interesting thing happened several days ago. in the wake of hurricane sandy, governor chris christie of new asked for help with gas pipeline crews. there are people from specter energy here today. specter has crews in ontario that were ready to go. there was some pickup in some pipeline.
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i get an urgent call from our board members. he said -- this is crazy. we got into it. several people worked on it. they found out -- we could not -- it got resolved. the crews helped the electricity workers. we got to this crisis. it underscores the importance of the on the border work. now that we have got the u.s. elections behind us, is there a moment to build an amendment on it now? why is it so important to
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you? >> it is of immense benefit to both sides. we remain each other's largest trading partners. we are the two most integrated economies in the world. to have businesses constantly coming up against silly differences or the tyranny of small differences makes no sense. we have been making good progress since we agreed to this one year ago. it has been moving ahead well. it will pick up some steam now that the election is over. i hope that incidents like this that both our governments will use the opportunity with incidents like this provides us. back in 2008 and 2009 when everybody had the tremendous financial crisis and the
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collapse in the collapsing of economic output, we steamed ahead in canada with our so- called stimulus program and economic access plan where we identified thousands of projects we wanted to continue. because we wanted to do it quickly, we did shortcuts around regulatory processes. we took a risk. in 19 -- 19 -- 99 put 9% of cases, it made no difference that be made the short cuts. we found smoother processes with in the country. i would hope -- there is nothing like an emergency to tell you whether a process is necessary. >> absolutely. there is another thing that has been important to you that i want to ask you about. that is the detroit bridge. a ballot measure that would require a constitutional
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amendment failed. why is it important enough to canada that you agreed to pay your share and our share? in terms of individual projects between canada and the united states, it is the biggest economic relationship in the world. there is no single project in that relationship more important. the detroit winter crossing is the largest border crossing in the world in terms of economics flows. great now. it is under virtual monopoly situation of a private provider. we anticipate that in the not too distant future that this will be a serious problem to growth in trade between our country. in our judgment, it makes sense
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to get on and get this done as soon as we can so we do not reach a situation in the next few years that could have serious impact upon -- it impacts upon canadian and american trade. on the u.s. side, everybody wants it. the goveroverwants it. he has been a supporter. the labor unions want it. community groups want it. i was with governor snyder. he had a meeting of all of the people in michigan who were on the side of the bridge. it was everyone in michigan. i understand the american political process is more complex, but we felt given the support on the other side, let us just get it done. the best way for that to happen because of the complexities of
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your system was for us to pay for most of it -- both sides. we will get all of that back from the tolls on both sides. there will be a government structure for that. we are facing an uncertain future for that project. i think we all felt this is the way to get it done. i am pleased with the governor. he has done everything on his side to make it happen. >> speaking of foreign investment, we cannot gather today without me asking questions about foreign investment. we heard earlier at lunch today -- [unintelligible] [laughter] >> american multinational companies invest in the
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canadian energy sector. there are some state owned enterprises interested. i wonder if you could talk about is there a difference between a publicly traded company, investing in a state owned enterprises and your views? >> i think it is necessary to point out the canadian economy, except for particular sectors, is generally one of the most vocal -- open economies in bold in terms of foreign investment. investments over a certain amount do have to be screened to ensure they are in the net benefit of the canadian economy. we have a global economy and an investment marketplace changing very rapidly. as a consequence, this government has made changes to the investment since it took
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office. because of a couple of things. be put in a rigorous national security test -- we put a rigorous national security test in the investment act. we have devin the government more latitude in terms of communicating with the public on certain matters. we created guidelines specifically for state of the enterprise because it represents a different kind of player. and those are some of the issues before us today. >> you are not making enough with today? i now understand my journalists are constantly try to make news. fair enough. one of the things the trespass of the partnership will do -- the transit partnership will give -- will do, a way to
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modernize nasa. the question is was it enough for canada to get to the table? we are aound 14 of the tpp. or is it important to conclude the talks? doyou think tpp can et done or is it enough to be at the table talking? course for canada, it was important to be at the table. the united states is our biggest trade partner. we already have the trade agreement with the united states. and with a couple of other of the tpp members and have ongoing negotiations with some of them. we do not want to be in a situation in the trade world where we become the spokes of
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arrangement. we want to be central in the network of global trading pit -- trade agreement. i think overall this will be to the benefit of both canada and the united states. canada and the united states are more likely to share perspectives on a very wide range of issues, not all issues. the united states will find will be sharing with some of the other players at the table. two things -- we are always intrigued and excited to be part of a multilateral process. i would say the more partners
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in a process, the tougher getting a deal is. in some kind of processes we have been involved in, the -- often in and multilateral process, the nature of the debate is driven by the least ambitious member around the table. that is a risk where we are pleased to be there. there is a lot of work to be done to get this thing to the finish line let alone over it. >> we will shift gears. we are both hockey fans. we saw each other in vancouver at the olympics.
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earlier today we had both anthems played at lunch. with nhl not playing, what do you do with your spare time? >> i have been watching a lot of football. [laughter] i also have an interest in hockey history. i read and write a lot about what happened in the past. i do not know whether it was the last time calgary and toronto met but and they met in 1971 for a very big game. there is a tsn special on it.
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the greatest team that never won. the reason i remember that so well is that was the only time i cried in front of the tv at a sports event. 1 we had -- [laughter] we had been waiting for 20 years. i still have a soft spot for them. now the shoe is on the other foot. i live in calgary. >> i think you just made news. [laughter] >> i will be happy with either. [laughter] [applause] >> i have to say an aside on y our like of hockey. for me interviewing you for my
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point of view is like when he went to went -- to interview wayne gretzky. acrylate. this is cool. -- i can relate. this is cool. you have been very gracious. i want to give people an opportunity to ask questions. i would ask you to raise your hand and identify yourself. jeniifer sloane. >> good afternoon. loan fromifer saon target canada. better known as tarjet. >> en francais, s'il-vous
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plait. [laughter] >> there are others like warren buffett who said he does not think it is a cliff but a slope and we have more time. regardless, no doubt the government is looking at this. what does canada need to do and what is it doing to prepare should the americans go off that cliff? >> the first thing i would say, obviously whatever happens in the united states, especially something that could happen that would significantly slow the american economy, would be of great concern to us. notwithstanding all of our efforts to plan for the longer- term and diversify our economy
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for the major export market has been the single biggest driving factor in canadian growth or slowness of growth over the past several years. we are watching this with great interest. i would say in fairness to u.s. policy makers, i think there are too difficult questions here that get mixed up together. they're both important. one is the concern of barry sudden drops in government expenditure and taxes on january 1 i could have a significant negative shock to the american and global economy. the other is the need for the united states to have a credible fiscal plan over the midterm to deal with what i think is a pretty serious long run fiscal situation.
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those issues often get mixed together. i would repeat what our finance minister said recently. i do think there solutions to the january 1 situation and a lot of common ground. i would think people would come to those solutions and not wait for a crisis. i hear some people talking about a budget accord. that kind of talk as lister you cannot, you go over a cliff, you cannot be sure what will happen next. with the collapse of lehman brothers, how icing major event can trigger a series of the event. i have every reason to believe these people will come
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to some kind of agreement on what to do. i also remain, notwithstanding all the difficulties the unit the -- the u.s. economy faces. i do not want to minimize them. this is still at its heart the most entrepreneurial, dynamic developed economy in the world. my sense is that it could be given my sense is it could be given in any kind of stability not just for the next two months but the next two years, the energy of the business community in the united states is just looking for the opportunity to get growth going, maybe not the way we saw ten years ago but certainly picking up pace from the last couple years. we just heard judge congressional figures and the president to get on with an immediate solution and also
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think seriously about how the fiscal situation will get under control over the next several years. >> thank you, great answer, great question. let's go to the side of the room. >> thank you for being here today. you have shown tremendous leadership and initiative. when the security function -- i can tell you about a great deal of rundown in that process. as a u.s. company, your thoughts of what you -- what we as u.s. companies can do to integrate america supply chain, what we can do to advance. >> thanks. that really is a great question. i would say there are three
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things. the first finger is fine, get together, identify, continue to help identify what the issues are. second thing is when you have identified those issues, engage with the people involved in the process, bring those issues to their attention, especially if you think you have got a solution, try to push them up on the agenda, but third thing you can help us with, this is where i think the process will succeed or fail in the long term, what can we do systemically to get around this kind of problem in the future? as i said to president obama and others, there are all kinds of things we can do now to identify all kinds of impediments to
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trade, low-grade still the impediments to trade and regulatory mismatches that don't make a lot of sense but will be kind of fighting an uphill battle with as soon as we solve one, elements of the system are generating new ones as quick as we solve the old ones so that is the real challenge, what i challenge our officials to do is not just fix the problems, but as we fix them, identify what it was that caused them to rise in the first place so we can better prevent them in the future. that is not to say there won't be different standards for different ways we do business. we don't want things like that unless there are solid reasons. neither of us wanted and i know the president feels the same way. neither of us wanted, not simply because this is an impediment to our business people doing
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business on both sides of the border but we're both in challenging fiscal situations. the united states more so than canada but we also have on a much smaller level our own fiscal challenge. we don't need to be spending money on systems that nobody wants. i can't think of a more useless waste of taxpayers' money. we always talk in political office that politicians have all kinds of reasons for wanting to spend money. when you spend money in a way that nobody cares, that is not a good thing so i know the president, like myself, wants to identify a systemic solution to those kinds of problems. anything to help with that as well as we go forward with we appreciated. >> just a couple more minutes left. i will take the privilege of asking the last couple quick
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questions. there's a canadian author who says this, quote, americans, whatever their flaws, our creators of the world's most vital pathology. canadians are a fiction not as everything usa. you can infiltrate by age 13, the average canadian has a doctorate level degree. he is saying hollywood has a gigantic impact on how people view themselves in the world. i want to ask you a serious question about canadian identity. i want to ask a couple other less serious questions like have you seen our go and what the you think of that? and one more at the end. >> on the second one, are go, that is a great one. >> gary and i believe it will do more for u.s./canada relations by helping americans appreciate this fantastic -- >> gary wanted to work himself
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into the bottom. i told him it couldn't be done. >> he did have our party with ben f. lek --affleck. the other one i was just thinking about. enough about gary. let's talk about gordon gibbons. canadian sense of self and you have taken a particular interest, you go there a lot and it is part of the canadian identity and that americans don't understand. what draws you and your views about it. >> a couple things. canada is a northern nation. that is what one of the things that makes us very defensive from the united states. if in canada, whereas the united
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states you say go west to find your identity, in this country is going north. that is part of something that the finds for for our identity and has promise in abundant resources. but let me save this. one of the things we try to do as the government, and with some success, in the economic circumstances, is we have come we couldn't be in a better situation than to have the united states as the only real neighbor, our closest economic
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partner and ultimately our ally and friend on everything in the world. at the same time, we are canadian national who value what is distinctive and unique about this country and in our own modest way that this is that country. we seen no incompatibility with that. what we have tried to do and try to tell canadians is there is no need for true canadian nationalism to have any sense of anti-american, we're different, distinct, unique, we value that, there are aspects not just of canadian policy but character that have proven themselves to be strong and durable because of what has happened in the global economy, but let's marry those two things. we recognize the united states is a bigger and more powerful country but that does not and should not be a basis of
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resentment. should be a basis of fried in the importance of the relationship we share. that is this government's view. we tried to project that you to canadians and i think canadians are embracing that. i think canadians can celebrate the north and the anniversary of the war of 1812 which was ultimately about our independence from the united states but in a way that is not anti-american and in a way that is celebrating our history but at the same time recognizing the great and enduring relationship that has come out of that period. that is what we are trying to do in this country and i think canadians are embracing that and my only complaint about the united states that every canadian will say, it is just the way it is, we always like to have more attention in the united states. we pay a lot of attention to
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you. you sometimes don't pay enough attention to us. >> how many americans in the room -- shoes with me? >> the squeaky wheel gets the grease, we're not the squeaky wheel, we recognize united states's obligations and responsibilities of a global and to the extent we share values and interests is largely true, we want to do what we can to be helpful. >> appreciate it. we will end on one thing. we talked a little bit about american pop culture and there's a picture of you from a trip to the u.k. you walked into a -- i wonder if you can -- i don't know the renault's, show the picture and if you could explain what surprise you got for your 50th birth day. do we have a picture?
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there we go. >> the story was we were there, that was the second in twenty after the one in washington, the height of the crisis in november. prime minister gordon brown had the next one in april in london and that was around the time of my birthday. won the conference was done and we said let's go for a walk and would you like to see where abby road is, sure, let's see. so we went out and did this picture and the wife said we should go not on the door -- i don't think you can do that. she said i think they're expecting you. we have arranged for that. that is what i did. we knock on the door and went in and they gave us a great for
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including studio 2 where the beatles recorded all of their stuff and they brought out -- i'm a piano player, they brought out pianos and keyboards that the beatles actually composed or performed. so i fooled around on that. my disappointment was when i left, they prevented me with the cd that had been recording what i was doing and if i had known that i would have tried to play something and do it well but i was fooling around. >> a parting gift for all of you on the way out. on that note please join me in thanking the right hon. stephen harper. [applause] >> several live events to tell you about this morning. from london, the report on british media practices that included among other things phone hacking of people in the
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news. that is on c-span2 at 8:30 eastern. on c-span3, the senate environment and public works committee will hear about the impact of hurricane sandy from members of congress from areas hit by the storm. later the house oversight and government reform committee will hear on the government's response to the rising autism rate. that is also on c-span3 at 2:00 eastern. >> on 16 or 17 bases in the united states we have military runs. the average cost to educated child in that school is $50,000. almost four times what rest of public education costs. the vast majority used public schools. we could take the money we're spending today and pay every
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school system 14,000 per child and save billions of dollars per year and with the same or better outcomes. >> you can talk to oklahoma senator tom coburn about the fiscal cliff, the affordable care act and the future of the republican party on booktv's in death. the senator has written several books and reports including his latest, the debt bomb. join our three our conversation, your calls, e-mails, tweets, for senator tom coburn at noon eastern on booktv's in depth on c-span2. >> now a forum on the rule of law in sino, a panel that includes u.s. ambassador to china and jon huntsman. we will show as much as we can until our live event at 8:30 eastern. [applause] >> thank you for that very kind
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introduction. i have a great honor of being a distinguished fellow here at brookings but i can tell with justice brier and with these distinguished legal experts appear there's nothing distinguished about me at all. today i come pretty much as a regular fellow as opposed to any kind of distinguished fellow. what we have ahead is a great presentation by some people you will find interesting, about development of the rule of law in china. i wanted to offer a few introductory comments on the china relationship in general. may i first thank john thornton for your vision and support for the center and parking than the leadership you provide. and an extraordinary scholar, and every utterance and every
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monogram you put out is red and scrutinized by everybody. i just know somebody on the chinese side who write about candidates who run for the presidency. i would like to find that president the way you provide meticulous detail on the leadership in china. thank you for that. hue fong, you are an extraordinary human being. we are excited to be in your company, your courageous and outspoken and thoughtful and insightful and i am reminded of a chinese phrase standing before you, that -- [speaking chinese] -- the analogy would be something winston churchill said during his life which is some things you never do in life. you never kissed a person who is leaning away from you, never climb a hill that is leaning toward you and you never speak
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to a group of people who know a lot more about the subject matter than you do and there is no one more distinguished and more practiced than you. my only regret is the we don't have more of you on stage because i know there are a lot of very brave and courageous people in china who are pushing for legal reform, greater independent judiciary, property law and human rights law, trying to expand civil society in ways that will make china flourish in the future. we are lucky to have you. three clique points i want to make before we move on, before we hear from professor alford, cohen and gewirtz. it is important to note that in the cycles of the u.s./china relationship we are entering an
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extraordinarily interesting period. i can't remember a time in recent history where we have had a president in an election but roughly coincided exactly with the leadership change in beijing. so what have we seen in beijing? in recent weeks, this very month. 2,000 delegates visiting beijing, putting together a slate of 370 committee members, chopping off 25 members of the politburo and some agreement around not 9 but 7 members of the standing committee of the politburo which i would refer to or considered to be the board of directors if it will end a reelected president on this side which is to say we are going to begin the new year with a clean slate and that ability which is so unusual in the u.s./china relationship to start fresh and i hope that a lot of people in
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this role practitioners, professionals, who have a say in how this relationship will evolve. i didn't want it lost on everyone. to leave this gathering today without remembering that the cycles of the relationship are remarkably in sync for the next couple years. there are always externalities, the events no one could predict and pop up from time to time that influence the overall trajectory of the relationship. we are starting out fresh. the cycles, distinct as they are, disrupted by politics on the chinese side, the american side, arms sales in taiwan, when i was living in beijing, [speaking chinese], we also have politics in china that you in america don't understand. let's recognize those cycles, opening for reform, and i
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believe, lies ahead. legal reform efforts in china will be central to any future reform agenda broadly speaking. we're ending in a sense -- we have the rise of a new generation of the first chinese leader who wasn't anointed, so to speak, and closing out the generation that is responsible for some important events at least in my lifetime, broad openings in china, diplomatic openings that only those who want to recognize china will abide by the one china policy. the opening of the economic doors which have taken china from a relatively small economy to the second-largest in the world today comment and primacy of the party with its eighty
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million members and three thousand nine hundred outposts around the country which still lives on today. and then paying rising to power, the party mantle and soon the military and the presidency and before him will be new questions, much different from the ones that he was responsible for addressing and acting upon. and quote there will be questions like is china more repressive at home today than in earlier years? is china more nationalistic in terms of its economic practice particularly among state-owned enterprises? has china become more assertive internationally? i would argue each of these questions carry fairly profound rule of law implications of. so as yung chao ping rises to take the top position in china and wrestles with new challenges
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and intends to answer new questions on would argue many of them are steeped, based in basic rule of law doctrine, the most important steps, will be bolstering the rule of law because implications are profound for expanding civil society for human-rights addressing the needs of ordinary citizens, building a greater economic uncertainty, rule of law is an essential pillar of our democracy but for china, rule of what is the best way of regulating and settling disputes in society and serving as a check against the abuse of power, the real question for china over the next few years will be what reigns supreme for the world's most populous country? and the second-largest economy?
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party or the law? despite setbacks in recent years, changes occur, not too many years ago, rule of law will be one of three components of any future democracy along with dignity, justice and independence as guarantees any future reform effort. number 2, we have gone from the days when my friend jerry cohen was the only lawyer in china some time shortly after the fall of the ching dynasty to 17,000 law firms and 200,000 licensed attorneys and as ho weh fing said, only some many judges held a bachelor's degree.
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there are basic standards, bar exam then legal experience that are required yet too often china's justice system falls short of the laws on the books both in practice and spirit. corruption is widespread, collusion among police and prosecutors and the judges is common. most critical, the fundamental question of judicial independence remains ever be illusive. the most sensitive cases still remain within party control. point number three, what will be the process for future collaboration between the united states and china? something i hope this distinguished group can talk about because we have such firepower in the united states with great universities, wonderful schools of law and when legal societies that are all too willing to hear our
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knowledge around the rule of law and development. how do we package ongoing efforts in ways that are coordinated and productive that will ultimately yield real benefits for the future and the people of china? with that it will be a great honor to hear individually from three distinguished experts up here, each of whom will take 15 minutes for a presentation after which we are going to have a conversation to open up to the audience. it is not a great honor and privilege to turn the floor to professors alford, cohen and gewirtz and we will go in that order if that would be ok. thank you very much.
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[applause] >> thank you, ambassador jon huntsman for the introduction and for your superb service to our nation in beijing. i would like to thank john thornton for the superb excellent china program and in particular for the series, the china thinkers series by bringing these people to the broader international audience, enriching not only chinese ideas but the basic humanity of our chinese colleagues. thank you very much. it is fitting that hue fong should be the first person in the world of law in this series because he is someone of incredible courage and gifts, incisiveness. in the interest of full disclosure on need to say we have been good friends for several decades and i cherish memories from the 1990s at
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harvard when we had a lively discussions across the seminar table and experienced civil society by going to boston symphony and best of all, enjoyed pickled tongue sandwiches in brooklyn, he was leading when he was a young man. i want to frame my remarks today a round hue fong's ridings which are exemplified in this because of my great respect for him and affection for him, i want to try to convey the majesty of what he has done but in a friendly, constructive way, pushed a little bit on a few points. specifically i want to engage hue fong's work in four respect that i trust will aluminate broader points about the challenges of law reform in china. the first concerns the chinese
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tradition. hue fong takes great pride in his heritage as he should but he does not view it prior to engagement with the west in the nineteenth century as providing abundant resources for the construction of rule of law today. i understand full well hue fong's desire to avoid dimensions of t t t t t t t t ts that constrain all, and i am aware because i argue now for the greater attention to the chinese past how some observers in china do invoke it to avoid talking about reform today. that is not my goal. my own view is politically and conceptually it is crucial to try to anchor the development of the rule of law in china today more in the chinese past. politically, to me it is hard to imagine rule of law taking hold
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in china it is seen right be or wrongly largely as a foreign imports particularly since the early history of rule of law barrings which is not a pleasant one and forced on china to some degree. conceptually, there are great abundant resources from which to grow which is not an easy task. time being limited let me make a few points i will be glad to amplify and the question and answer period. the great chinese classics provide rich material for thinking about rule of law for grounding the idea. think of the confusion of intellects in which will lose legitimacy is inescapably tied to the people work one of his prime disciples takes this further by explicitly justify and the removal of rulers if they fail adequately to serve the people or another famous disciple of confucius repeatedly
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underscore is the importance of equitable and clear law evenly to all society. with the possible exception of the ruler. notice this richness in abstract levels, several chinese dynasties have developed sophisticated -- sophisticated rules for monitoring exercise of power, which were expected to go and follow and in some instances gave citizens some avenues for redress. over the past three decades scholars in china and the outside world have uncovered massive archival data that shows contrary to the stereotyped of ordinary chinese citizens in the nineteenth century to protect their interests and at times in doing that they were aided by experts in the law who may not
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have constituted a legal profession in a contemporary sense but knew how to use the law to protect individuals and there was institution of -- another figure whose job it was to try to check officials to the level of rents trading. in making these points none of it is to suggest it was sufficient to route a rule of law. ..
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>> my colleagues' leagues in educating people, hundreds of other chinese scholars over the past three decades. but i do think we need to be as clear-eyed as possible. historically, too off chinese reformers and some of their foreign friends have taken two unnuanced a view of law here which i think at times may make the task of law reform there more complicated. our legal history has not always been what we wish it might be, the progress we have made is not inevitable, but often the result of hard-fought battles, and it's helpful to underscore how even today it can challenging to fully maintain the rule of law, that law by its nature is dynamic as society changes and requires constant vigilance as justice breyer so wonderful spelled out in his book, "making
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our democracy work." i can't resist one anecdote here. the dean of one of the great chinese law schools was visiting me in boston, we went to dinner, and he said can i ask you something very, very personal. and i said, of course, you can ask anything. he said, no, this is a really private, intimate question. so i was trying to figure out, is this salary? [laughter] is it religion? is it politics, is it sex? what is it? he leans across the table and says, professor alford, this separation of powers business, separation of powers, you don't really believe it, do you? [laughter] he was rather amazed when i told him i thought it was a noble ideal. anyways, as aspiring as our example in the u.s. may be, i also think we owe it to the chinese and chinese reformers in
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particular to encourage them to familiarize themselves with an even broader range of hostilities. wonderfully with a conference that was referred to. prior to the financial crisis of 2008 but still to some degree today, many chinese reformers have tended to focus chiefly on the u.s. often to the exclusion of other models, drawn no doubt as much by our power as our ideals and ideas. i personally think it's more empowering to our chinese friends both politically and conceptually for us to lay out every broad array of possibilities. our chinese friends can see a range of possibilities, can see what our universal ideals about promoting human dignity in a range of different types of institutional design to get us
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there so they can then craft something that is true to those ideals but reflective of chinese society. so just by way of example,ing six years ago our harvard high w school project did the first conference ever in china's history on disability rights. and we drew experts from an array of different countries, many of them individuals with disabilities, each of whom discussed the model of his or her country and how the pros and cons in historical contingencies and so forth. obviously, disability remains today a very problematic area in china, but there has been real progress we have seen, and many chi news friends were very -- chinese friends were grateful for the array of models. we've seen senate legislative reform -- significant legislative reform and even on
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the ground an effort of building clinics, engaging people from real ngos, publications designed to educate people of their rights and is forth. that's my second point. my third point concerns the legal profession. optimism with legal professionals, there's amendndor constitutional government, closed quote. of course, the legal profession is ultimately crucial to the rule of law anywhere, and he's surely correct to use the platform he has before thousands of chinese students to try to inspire them as he has done so well, but i think it is important that we remain mindful of tokeville's add no vision added vision, it is the law
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giver himself who is responsible for taking away liberty. they, the lawyers, are more content, closed quote. simply to note that lawyers and the legal profession are very much tied to the status quo. in this really in by mind captures the dilemma today in china. its capacity to advance liberalization is somewhat constrained by its need to stay on good terms with officialdom and the matter. i can't tell you how many dozens of chinese lawyers have with great regret told me this themselves, and honesty compels me to say that if i were or in their position, i'm not sure i would act all that much differently. there is a reason that we are honoring fong today, and it is because he has an unusual degree of courage. now, of course, it is striking
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to me how much of the impetus for rule of law in china has come not so much from elite professionals, but from chinese of far more humble and modest station. if you look at the ranks of the rights-protected lawyers or the heroic blind activist who contrary to media reports was not a lawyer in china but knew brilliantly how to use and invoke the law -- and thanks to my teacher, jerry cohen, is now receiving a legal education here -- you see a lot of the energy coming not from elite legal circles. or if you consider the work that nonlawyer activists are doing, taking seriously the environmental rights, consumer rights, disability rights or combating discrimination around jenldzer or disease, dub gender or disease, you see a tremendous energy. these less obvious figures, some
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not even legal professionals, deserve more yet and more attention and more help from us if we want to promote rule of law in china. i would pass just briefly to commendway fong on being a public intellectual in china. he's been criticized for not just doing footnotes in the university. i think he is doing exactly what history best calls for. my former student, ella, is looking at me nervously to finish, so let me get to my fourth and final point to conclude, and it concerns the incredibly hard but unavoidable question of politics. we long for the rule of law in china as a constraint on the powerful, but how do we get there from here? fong has not been hesitant to say it takes bold political reform, but again the fact we're honoring him today indicates that he is unusual. too many scholars, both chinese
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and foreign, have instead acted as if legal reform itself will be the driving wedge for political reform so that they can avoid having to confront these very difficult questions of political reform now. i really hope i'm wrong in this next point, but i think the experience of both korea and taiwan suggest otherwise. even though each of them before their transitions was less authoritarian than china is today and had an appreciably more independent judiciary, the evidence from those two cases suggests that legal system reform actually has more to do with consolidating matters after political reform than itself initiating broad political reform, which i think is absolutely necessary to have sustainable legal reform. now, beyond this hard threshold question, there are many ores. i'll just mention one or two and conclude. as we think about some of these hard political questions, for
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example, what are we going to do about the ill-gotten gains that have occurred? eminent chinese economist, one of the most distinguished in the country in china, estimates that chinese peasants have been deprived of more than $500 billion worth of the value of their land that has been taken without adequate compensation. how does one think of addressing that? or how do we reconcile on the one hand a popular, growing popular and media scrutiny of the judiciary which in some ways seems desirable with the need to shield the courts from populist as well as communist party pressures? now, there are no easy answers to these or many of the other questions we'll talk about today that china poses, but i do feel strongly that we are blessed -- really that's the right word, "blessed," -- to have so gifted
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a friend, a champion for his country in leading it toward rule of law and a teacher and inspiration for any of us outside of china who are engaged with law. so thank you very much for having me today. [applause] >> i'm very happy to join this chorus of praise for the brookings institution and for the leadership of john thornton and cheng li and colleagues in putting china's legal system on the political map in washington. when i started long ago to study about china's legal system, most people who were charitable felt sorry for me. they felt i must be having a nervous breakdown -- [laughter]
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to throw away a promising conventional career in the law on a country we couldn't visit, on a country with which even seven years after the korean wars end we had very, very bad relationsing, and american -- relations, and american attitudes toward red china were, to say the least, very negative. and i guess i've always wanted to have the attention and the help of the political scientist community in analyzing the rule of law in china. and it wasn't easy. i remember a conference in 1964 or '5 that zbigniew brzezinski convened out in tahoe comparing the soviet and chinese systems, and i was asked on the first day to talk about law, and i talked about laws, courts, judges. the political scientists there couldn't have been less interested, and i was very disappointed.
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but the next day after talking with the conference organizers, i made another attempt. i never mentioned law. i talked about norms, institutions, sanctions, using all the jargon of political scientists, and they all said that's really fundamental. [laughter] so i discovered a little bit about how to be per or suasionive in a -- persuasive in a political milieu. but having an exercise like today's that recognizes -- as fong's book recognizes and as cheng li's introduction recognizes -- how to deal with the political system may well be the new leadership in china and the one with they're least equipped to handle. we're all trying to take different slices of looking at this reality today, and bill has given us some very good perspectives, and i like
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particularly what he said about the impact of history. today i want to look at three aspects very briefly. the first i'll give the most time to because i think it has the least analysis in the public domain, which is the relationship of the party to the legal system. how should the party be structured to deal with the legal system, how should the party's authoritative agency, the political/legal commissions that flourish at every level, deal with prosecutors and judges and others? second issue i'll talk about briefly is reeducation through labor, because i regard that as one of the litmus tests for the new chinese leadership. will they do something about it, what will they do? and thirdly, in order to provide a different perspective that
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relates to the historical and contemporary comparative law prospectus, i want to mention the relevance of taiwan. because taiwan shows how a chinese culture has been able to deal with a leninist legal political system, how it's been able to establish a constitutional court and how it's been able to do away with relegislation through labor's equivalent. well, first, we all paid attention in recent weeks to the party's relevance to the legal system because of the reduction of the membership of the standing committee of the politboro from nine to seven. the ostensible reason was that this is designed to enhance efficiency, promote discussion, but many people feel -- and i think rightly -- it also has something to do with fear of the
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political/legal system's security system, internal security. ing with a member of the -- a member of the standing committee had too much power and this, of course, relates to a case where they didn't want the head of the the political/legal commission who succeeded joe to have a similar opportunity to influence the highest leadership in the country. and so rather ostentatiously they reduced the number of people on the standing committee from nine to seven, dropping the position of the political/legal commission's chief to the politboro. and the new successor to joe, mr. un, currently minister of public security, is now filling that spot.
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well, that creates some awkward problems, because it's a new shift in political/legal relations. it raises, first of all, how will the standing committee, the charmed seven, keep track of what the political/legal commission is up to? are they going to have a watchdog? who is it going to be? from one point of view, you could argue that the very capable person who's been put in charge of the party discipline and inspection commission -- some people wrongly think that's a demotion away from his economic responsibilities, i think that's a mistake. he is a highly intelligent, very capable men, well qualified to deal with the immense problem of corruption among the chinese business elite and their relation to government. but you could argue because the
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discipline and inspection commission is so intimately connected to the legal system even though it precedes the legal system, it's not part of the government, that one could take that brief of watching the political/legal position on. but i think it's likely to go to the person number three in the party ranking, i believe, mr. jung, who is going to be responsible for the national people's congress. because it's the npc to which the courts and the executive agencies, all the relevant ministries, has to report. so logically, from the point of view of good government, one would think that jung would be put in charge. but more than that, they have to figure out how is he going to exercise supervision. and beyond that comes more fundamental questions about what should the new political/legal commission's powers be? we have these wonderful
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suggestions by finishing ong -- fong, with professor chu about how radically to reform the system. if you really want judicial independence, then many major steps have to be taken. i just want to talk about some of the most immediate and fundamental issues, and one professor fong mentioned before which is should the political clash legal commission continue to have the power to decide individual cases? concrete cases? at the end of the 1980s before he had to step down, before the tiananmen tragedy, the then-leader of the party was trying to get the party out of court decision making on individual cases. leaving its function to policy questions and a number of general ideological and other questions and even tolerating
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party selection of the leadership of the courts and the problem cur si -- problem cure si. well, when he fell, that idea fell. but now after so many years it's receiving renewed discussion, and we'll see whether the leaders of the party are willing to clip the power of thing political/legal commission so they don't decide individual cases. more immediate is the question of who will run the -- [inaudible] at every level? traditionally, as you know, the police chief has been the boss, and it's a little awkward for the head of the local court and the head of the local problem your si to to -- and outranks them not in government terms, but in party terms. so already before the 18th party
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congress, a movement has been underway to change that. and one prominent way to deal with this is to have the deputy party secretary at the local party committee preside over the local political/legal commission so that the police chief, the court president and the prosecutor when they discuss cases and other matters are on an even plane. be another way -- another way is to have them rotate. they can alternate. a lot of ideas are being bandied about, but this is maybe the most immediately achievable one. it's in the process of happening, and the details have not been exposed. we don't have much exposure of how a political/legal commission works even though it's very, or very important. it works in different ways in different parts of china and at different times. but its role is, obviously, very important. now, much more could be done.
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not only professor hu's suggestions, but, for example, if the party wants to start giving greater autonomy to the prosecutors as well as the judges, it could decide that courts and the problem cure si o longer come under the political/legal commission. that would go a long way. that would leave the political/legal commission in charge of the men industry of -- ministry of public security and the ministry of justice. so we don't know -- that's going pretty far. i don't see that happening in the immediate future certainly. well, there are a lot of questions i could ring the changes on, but i want to get people to focus attention on this very important commission. we've had much more attention, understandably, focused on the
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party's military commission and how that relates to the party and how it relates to the government, etc. we're beginning to see even the party discipline and inspection committee that has just turned over -- [inaudible] after many months to the formal legal process. we're beginning to learn more about them. but we don't know much about how the political/legal commission actually operates. well, let me just say a word about reeducation through labor. every year 2-300,000 people are sent off to reeducation through labor by the police alone. no prosecutor approval is required, no court approval is required. this is something handled by the police. and it comes in very handy. i'll just use an illustration that came up again this week.
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the other day a young official of the chung ching government was released from relegislation through labor of after serving 14 months of his two-year term. how did he get there? he was first prosecuted for making fun of his legals in the cultural revolution campaign. and in a very unusual event, the prosecutor in charge refused to indict him. i don't know whatever happened to that prosecutor because -- [inaudible] was still in power, and i'd like to know. but in any event, the police were not fazed by failure to get the prosecutor to prosecute, they simply went around and gave him reeducation through labor. it's very convenient. and when i went to taiwan in the early '60s, by us interested -- i was interested
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already in this mainland phenomenon, and i learned taiwan had something similar. and i went to a labor camp. it was frightening. much different from the formal prison they also allowed me to visit. well, taiwan has done away with it. after a long struggle due to taiwan's constitutional court interacting with it legislature and its executive branch, in january 2009 this hated sanction that was used not merely for hoodlums, etc., but for political offenders. it was abolished finally in taiwan, and it's one of the things the government can take some credit for. but the key was the role of the constitutional court. in china today talked in 2003-4 about abolishing reeducation through labor. it was in a reformist era, the
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last one we've seen until now. but it didn't happen. now the question is, will it be changed merely in name? will the nature of the punishment be changed? will the procedures by which one gets there be improved? will lawyers be allowed to take part consistently? what will be done about it? that's the litmus test, as i said. now, a final word about taiwan. taiwan, like mainland china, was a leninist dictatorship. with khan kai-shek learned at the same feet at chairman mao learned at, dung show ping among them. but what we learned in the early '80s was gradually, peacefully the transition into a democratic
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system that has been successfully struggling as every democratic system does to create an impressive independent legal system and judicial independence. this is a great achievement. if we look to history as a course of reforming what takes place many china, we don't have to look very far across the water to see in taiwan people who are chinese people -- despite their important 50-year experience with japanese colonialism -- have made enormous progress. they are refuting the alibi that we're different, we're chinese, we didn't go through the true english 17th century revolutions, we didn't go through the bill of rights experience of the united states, but the rights of man experience in france. so go away, don't bother us with rule of law, judicial
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independence. taiwan is a reputation. and i think all of us who study what's taking place in china ought to understand its relevance. not that the mainland is destined necessarily to follow it, but to learn more and to be stimulated by it. well, i hope that this is useful, and i look forward to the discussion. [applause] >> thank you, ambassador huntsman, thank you, john thornton and brookings for your exceptional china program. and thanks, of course, to cheng li and colleagues for organizing this really wonderful day of activities. whatever cheng li may have called this event -- and i've
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actually forgotten what he's called it -- it's, above all, a celebration of wei fong. he's brilliant, he's learned, he's courageous, he's a tenacious person with the soul of a saint in fighting justice, fighting for justice, and at the same time he's a soul of wit who somehow convinces us that fighting for fundamental change in china is a joyful activity. [laughter] but don't be fooled by the twinkle and sparks of wit that flow from him as readily as sparks flow from an iron factory. as china watchers know, to forge iron one must be strong, and he is strong. the panel has been asked under a
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title that i do not exactly remember, um, to talk about the prospects and changes and challenges of legal reform in china, and i'm certainly honored to share the stage with such distinguished colleagues as bill alford and jerry cohen. of course, none of us know for sure what the prospects for the rule of law in china are. partly that depends on the time frame. if you look, um, at the last 30 years day by day, um, progress seems slow, the challenges and frustrations seem large. work ei fong endures them day by day. if you look at the time frame the way an historian would, 30 years is a blip on the screen. and china's progress on so many
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fronts -- and i would argue on the front of legal reform -- has been remarkable. in that blip of history. so both time frames, i think, have truth. the reformers that i know, the wisest reformers that i know in china, um, try to keep and do keep both time frames in mind, and since i try to follow the wisest of chinese legal reformers, i always try to keep the double time frame in mind. surely the last five years have been disappointing. much less was done than optimists had hoped would be possible during hu jintao's second term, but hopes for legal reform seem to be rising again not, i think, because anyone imagines that china's new leaders have in their desk drawer a program for legal reform that they're just waiting
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to implement impatiently. probably not. but, um, optimism, i think, because of the need for legal reform seems so clear to so many people. i think any effort to seek truth from facts would reveal that continuing and broad legal reform is needed to sustain china's strength, to sustain china's stability. and there is a rising demand within chinese society. i wouldn't say that that demand is necessarily framed in terms of we want legal reform, we want rule of law, but they want the things that a strong and better legal system can provide to china, more orderly ways of addressing grievances, more fairness, less corruption, more transparency in government, more limitations on government and for practical ways to implement
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legal rights. so i want to comment on three. three seems to be the number for several of us, three areas of law where there's ferment in china and to point to some aspects of each. the three areas are judicial reform, administrative law and constitutionalism. and for the sake of making a contrast among the three areas, i'm going to simplify things a little bit, but i hope that i will thereby put some reasonably important issues on the table. so, first, with respect to legal reform there certainly has been, have been some very significant judicial reform -- i mean, starting with judicial reform -- judicial reforms over the last 30 years, and the reforms continue to be made. the civil litigation system has, i think, become much improved, there's a brand new civil procedural law, there is growing professionalism among judges
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which is very encouraging and can produce long-term effects. wei fong has written about this, although bill alford just offered some less optimistic, cautionary words about what to expect from that professionalism. um, there's a new criminal procedure law that's just gone into effect. as a general matter, it's implementation -- its implementation is completely up in the area and more specifically i think there's no reason to expect that this new law is going to be followed in the political cases that the party considers to be important, but major issues have been given new attention in the law; police torture, coerced confessions, censoring reform and so forth. the key problem, and this is the point i want to make about
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judicial reform, the key problem is that the fundamental principle of judicial independence is still not really accepted by china's leaders even though it appears in the constitution, it appears in the 18th party congress report, it appears in most of the party documents. indeed, one of the disappointing things in the last five years is that after a quite reform-of oriented presidency of the supreme people's court, the person who replaced him as president of the court was a nonlawyer who came directly from the party, and he became a symbol of nonindependence of the chinese judiciary. and i think it's fair to say that the ccb still sees a truly independent judiciary as an unacceptable diminution of administrative power and the party's power. even though, um, i share the arguments that fong and others
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make, the party itself, the chinese government itself would be stronger and more stable, um, and more legitimate if there were a truly independent judiciary. so the obstacle here for judicial reform as i see it is in the political structure and ideology which does not accept separation of powers and checks and balances and, thus, doesn't accept true judicial independence. so i view judicial reform as an example of an area, um, where there, yes, have been valuable, incremental changes, but there's probably a very real limit on what can be done in the area of legal reform without more basic political reforms. the second area is administrative law, and i'm going to, um, here tell a somewhat more positive story, use this example for a more
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positive story, and i want to emphasize two administrative law developments. please don't glaze over at the mere words of administrative law. it is an exciting terrain in china, even more exciting than it is in the u.s. [laughter] it's the sphere of public law that is the most vibrant. so the two examples i want to give you are the promulgation of national open government information regulations in 2008 -- ogi for short -- which is china's version of our freedom of information act. implementation of these ogi regulations have been thus far quite imperfect, but as my yale colleague, jamie horsley, has documented, the chinese public's response to these regulations has been enthusiastic and vibrant. there have been a huge number of requests filed for information, and, um, the government is quite
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often taken to court if it refuses. and so this is a significant, um, development in the administrative state in china. the second example i want to give are guidelines issued by the state council also, i think, in 2008 requiring increased public participation in the development of administrative rules and regulations. requiring that virtually all draft rules and regulations be published in advance, that is other than those in state security and national security area, and the open-for-public comment. in other words, china's implementing a mechanism similar to what we hear would call notice and comment rulemaking. that, too, the implementation, has been imperfect. but i'm excited by these developments or certainly consider them noteworthy as
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pointing to a positive story because these ogi rules and public participation rules in my view reflect or at least embody a profound change in the relationship between the state and the people. and, i mean, china for thousands of years has had a secretive government. for thousands of years, the people have been kept at bay from government. and these ogi rules and public guidelines -- and i recognize the problem of implementation is a serious problem as always in china -- but these new rules give the chinese people a greater role in governance. and most crucially, i think, they change the public's expectation of the public's relationship to the state.
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chinese citizens believe they have a right to know. chinese citizens are told they have a right to participate in the making of laws and regulations. now, that's hardly democracy, but it's a step in the direction to greater democratization. and with changed understandings and these changed public expectations, it's at least possible to imagine over time that these reforms are going to contribute to broader public demands, participating governance including even mechanisms for electing leaders or holding leaders more directly accountable. now that's, of course, just speculation, may be exaggerated, but i'm using this example of administrative law to suggest that sometimes incremental legal reform may be able to open up foundational political reform. so it's sort of an opposite kind
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of example to the one about judicial reform that i mentioned which political obstacles are going to limit the legal potential. so my last example is constitutionalism, and i'm going to use that term in its narrow sense, not quite in the full-throated sense that fong uses it in his book. meaning simply to give life to the chinese constitution, to make it a living truth in that wonderful phrase of chief justice warren's in cooper v. aaron. reality. in the last five years, there have been no steps since our conference, no real steps towards judicial review on constitutional issues in china. but what's been happening in china is a variant of what legal scholars in the u.s. today call popular constitutionalism. most people in the u.s. think
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about -- most people generally think about constitutionalism, constitutions as institutions like courts enforcing the constitution within society. that's a top-down kind of understanding. and justice breyer's most recent book is all about some of the difficulties that come about from that top-down system such as will the people obey the court? let me just make ab -- an aside here, by the way. justice breyer, i recently traveled with him to china where he spoke in a number of settings about his book and about other issues. one of the truly underestimated things in u.s. diplomacy, i think, is how effective someone like justice breyer can be in projecting the soft power of the united states. he was an extraordinary diplomat
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in his time in china. and if only his day job did not require so much of him, he should be, he should be sent as the roving ambassador for the rule of law. [laughter] well, my point though is that in china today don't have that institutional arrangement, top-down constitutionalism. zero. but what's been happening is there has been a lot of ferment within society in a bottom-up way of scholars, media, ordinary chinese citizens talking about the chinese constitution, invoking it, saying it means something and gaining political traction for it in the sense that the policies that are being challenged are sometimes changed. they may go to court, they're thrown out of court because there's no judicial review. but the coverage of the constitutional claims has an
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effect. in changing the policy. the, um -- i'm almost done. we've seen that in the gong case, we've seen it in a lot of discrimination cases. there are a whole bunch of examples that i could discuss in more detail, but the point that i'm using this third example to illustrate is how people outside of government -- scholars, journalists, ordinary people -- are sometimes able to give force to law even though the legal institutions do not. and this is a quite fascinating area, i think, of the legal reform taking place in china, because it's important in itself and also because i think it's connected to the development over time of a culture of law within chinese society. and at the bedrock, this is a point that hasn't been mentioned
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yet, it's not just about the party, it's not just about b the state, it's not just about institutions. it's about b is there a culture of law within the society that can nurture, support, obey and d to account legal institutions? so those are my three examples. i won't summarize them, but i will have a closing thought about hugh way fong which is that he is not only a scholar who is addressing one or another of these aspects and these terrains of legal reform, a scholar that addresses the chinese people, the chinese public. he's not only advancing legal reform through institutions, he's addressing issues of political reform, and he's addressing this broader problem of building a culture of law, and i think the publication of his book is going to introduce
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him to people worldwide as the extraordinary figure that he is. so we're delighted that you're here, and i'm delighted to have an opportunity to participate in celebrating you. [applause] >> thank you, paul and jerry and bill. and now for the fun part of it. we don't have a lot of time left, so we're going to jump right in, and here's what we're going to do. i'm going to get to a couple of questions that i have that i think are interesting and topical, that draw from a sense of history that all three of our panelists bring to the stage, and then we're going to ton turn to you -- going to turn to you. and i'm going to ask our panelists to do something that is totally countercultural on a leading university campus, to be brief -- [laughter] and let's see how much of this we can get there -- through.
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so drawing from history, we've just wrapped up the 18th party congress, paul, and we're able now to reflect, let's say back ten years. let's go back to the 16th party congress, so i guess back to 2002. you were all around. you gave it a whole lot of taught back in those early days -- thought back in those early days. where did you expect china to be at the 18th party congress. where has china kind of fallen short, and what have we missed? >> so -- >> bill, we're going to start with you, and we're going to go straight across. >> brief, yeah. i was more hopeful even earlier of reform. i think the massive corruption has created strong reasons for senior leaders not to -- beyond the ideological, to be at first to reform. finish so i was more hopeful than the last few years have
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been. as paul said, somewhat disappointing. >> yeah, paul pointed specifically to the last five years. let's go back, paul, the five years before that. did we have a hopeful run before the 16th party congress and things fell flat, or what exactly happened? >> [inaudible] >> maybe we can bring the handheld up here just in case. >> great. from the chinese system is so pick that, yes, i did the 16th party congress report in a detail that shocked both my american friends and my chinese friends. [laughter] but you really get guidance to be able to make a prediction. i'm not so sure. but, yes, we did think, i did think that there would be stronger steps in the direction of judicial reform, because the
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courts -- impartial, fair courts, it seems to me, to be so important for china's own strength, own interests. i thought there would be more of a recognition of that. i did not anticipate, however, just where i upside estimated, i didn't want anticipate this open government participation and public participation development which i think does reflect a change in the relationship between the state and the people that has a lot of potential. so, you know, it'd be interesting to ask your question right now about the 18th party congress and to -- i would honestly confess to you that i don't know. and that's one of the things i've learned from the 2002 party report. [laughter] >> jerry, i'm going to ask, put a little spin on the question, and that is do draw from history and give us what you, where you
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thought we would be as you were standing back at the 16th party congress, but picking up on what paul mentioned, is this any kind of grassroots movement in china where there is a recognition of the importance of the rule of law, legal reform whether it's around property law or human rights laws, expanding civil society, and does that have implications going forward in terms of moving the party forward? >> well, we're all a little jaded, as paul implied, through our experience after the 16th party congress. hu jintao came in, he was such a nice looking person. [laughter] we thought, he must be for human rights. and then we had this extraordinary optimism. not just foreign observers, chinese insiders, the most important law reformers, some of them told me flatly in 2003 the npc is about to abolish reeducation through labor.
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flatly. and they were flatly wrong. because the ministry of public security and the party political leader, they're formidable foes. they're willing to make a concession here or there, but they fight a last ditch battle, and they win. so that's what we learned. and it was very, of course, disillusioning. then we thought, ah, look, the first term of hu jintao. he's still controlled by the previous leaders. but in the second term we'll really see. he'll come into his own. and what we've seen is this backward movement on human rights. and yet it's not absolute, because as others have also said, some good laws have been passed. and sometimes that's the compromise. the party says we'll give you this in a good law, we'll have a new revised criminal procedure law go into effect january 1st,
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and it has a number of real improvements as well as some setbacks. but the compromise is we'll give you the piece of paper, but we'll keep the practice. [laughter] so that leads to the shakespearean problem of keeping the promise to the ear but breaking it to the hope. and that's what we're seeing. sometimes chinese scholars, they'll go for better pieces of paper but keep quiet about practice. i asked at a conference about sick -- six years ago at people's university, why don't you speak out about the way criminal procedure law is actually being enforced? and one promising young law professor said it's too early to worry about practice. i said when will it be time to worry about practice? so -- >> how about the -- any grassroots, nascent movements?
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>> china remains a nontransparent society. it's hard for us to give any scientific answer. i like to interpret reality in a way that i find optimistic, and i certainly think we are seeing more and more evidence, as has been said here, of ordinary people. not the rich, not the bourgeois, not the people who have connections to local government, but people who have nothing other than the words of the law. they are trying to get their hands on these laws and put it into effect. that's what chung gang chung represented, even the local disability society headed by deng saw ping's son wouldn't help disabled people.
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if you have people taking the law in their own hands, that is the most effective challenge to the party. >> all right. i'm simply going to ask what the appropriate role for the united states is. you've all supported and leading various programs, but as we move forward, how does the united states corral this brain power, the firepower, the expertise and use it effectively, and is there a legitimate role in terms of one of the major bilateral issues between the united states and china, the whole area of legal reform? bill? >> so thank you. so i think the broad and variegated way in the which we in the united states engage with china on these issues is actually better than a designed, more top-down way. so government's engagement of the role you played when you were ambassador was
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constructive, but i also think that messiness of our civil society and different universities offering different models of engagement with china, american ngos, i think that tends to be very positive. as i said in my remarks, i also hope that it's more than just bilateral. i think the chinese benefit greatly from seeing that the europeans may do things in a different way or japanese in a third way, but i think the somewhat uncoordinated nature of how we do things is actually both beneficial by offering a lot of different examples, and also demonstrating in the doing one of the values, that we're not an entirely top-down society, that ideas germinate from many different sources. >> jerry, your views on dexterity and coordination. >> well, we've heard plugs for harvard's program and for yale's. i don't want to be deficient in mentioning -- [laughter] >> which one of them are you going to mention, is the question. >> of course, we should go on trying to cooperate with chinese
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experts including many government experts. they want our help. people who are officials even want to see us unofficially, if they can't see us officially, they thirst for knowledge, and we should try to continue to work with them to provide information. our nyu program just opened a new web site. we hope it won't be blocked like our main web site -- [laughter] to talk about our experience of the legal problems in administering the death penalty in this country, the legal procedures for the death penalty. i hope that'll be useful. but, frankly, the most effective thing we can do to promote human rights in china is to improve our own example. the chinese people are not foolish. they have access now to all kinds of information. i remember doing a voice of america broadcast a few years ago about criminal justice in
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china. every question i got from china concerned america's failing in our domestic human rights. so we can't go on saying do as we say, not as we do. they look to us for being a model. so we have to walk on two legs, as chairman mao admonished us. on the one hand, cooperate to the extent we can overtly with china directly. on the other hand, improve our human rights challenges which have accumulated in the last decade. >> paul, final world, how do we maximize our tools? >> next to final world. the problem with jerry cohen, he's such a pioneer that everybody believes we have a piece of ownership of him. nobody remembers that he's a yale college, yale law school graduate. [laughter] nobody remembers that he taught for how many years at harvard law school? >> almost two decades. >> so you'll just have to live with it, jerry. [laughter] so for me just the only thing i would add is there seems to be
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two paths that are open practically. one is a path of open criticism of china's deficiencies in the legal area and in the adjacent human rights area, and the other path is a quieter path of engaging cooperatively the reformers and the people in government who are reform-oriented to try to move the ball forward that way. and my basic judgment is that both paths contribute. the path that i've chosen is the cooperative engagement path. do i think that's because i think it's the best idea? honestly, i think it's temperamental. that's the kind of person i am. so i prefer doing it that way. but those are the choices that i think are open to the u.s. government, open to people in the u.s., open to brookings, open to anyone in the u.s. who wants to engage china.
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>> all right. let's -- oh. >> i'm sorry to, if i could just jump in, i want to underscore the wisdom of paul's last point. it seems to me there's some spectrum of ways of engaging with china from very sharp, open criticism of human rights problems to more cooperation with the authorities, and i think they're all needed and, indeed, they all reinforce one another. so the fact that there are people being more sharply critical does create some space for people in the universities who want to create a more constructive relationship -- >> all right, we have got time for just a couple of questions over here on the side. jess. yes, sir. yes, right there. >> my name is arnold, and i have been teaching at a university in china. ambassador huntsman compared the standing committee to a board of directors earlier.
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i think i'm correct. therefore, mr. xi is going to be the chairman. presumably within the first -- an e-mail -- the first among equals. but the other six members or so do not have allegiance to him because they don't seem to be on that board through his manipulation, but from someone else. and you suggested that might be an aspect of the dynasty. so in this kind of system, who is the decider? at what desk in china is does the buck stop? that's what i'd like the know. >> jerry, you did a pretty good job giving us an historic overview. give us a quick response to that. where does the buck stop? [laughter] >> well, what the standing committee of the politboro generally has done is divide operational responsibilities.
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to that extent, they are not a typical board of directors. it's more like a board made up of executive directors who are internal company people responsible for different d.s of the -- different departments of the company's operation. so that's a very important issue, and we're used to boards of directors that represent different interests. that's why a minority shareholder wants a seat on the board in order to represent a view different from the dominant view. but you're putting your finger on a very delicate question. but this is a conservative bunch that has learned to operate from consensus. they have a sphere of influence, respect for each other's sphere of authority, but when it comes to important issues, they have to talk them out and try to reach a consensus, and that's why it's hard to reform. because consensus usually ends with the lowest common
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denominator. so it's not a very efficient system of government except it looks to many people more efficient than our own. [laughter] >> we'll leave it at that. [laughter] all right. we've got time for one more. over on this side, anybody? yes, ma'am, right here. >> hi. my name is nadia chao. i have a question for president cohen. you mentioned -- [inaudible] is a model, but also first chinese society put their elected president into jail. so when chinese leader look at this, is this still, you know, inspiring to them -- [laughter] for a role model? and some of the people outside of taiwan advocating medical parole for president chang. i wonder, you know, would you like to have a comment? >> well, i could invoke the rule
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of relevance against the last question, but e won't. i -- but i won't. i think taiwan is a model. and if it's necessary to put a president in jail in order to show the country really forbids a massive corruption on the part of its leaders, then it's done the right thing. if you put a president in jail for political reasons, that's another story. south korea has had to figure out how to draw the line. no system can be very attractive to leaders if every ex-president goes to jail. [laughter] but in taiwan this guy has been proved to have stolen with his wife's help and that of his family and his son is an nyu llu grad, i should say -- [laughter] although i didn't teach him anything. [laughter] but the fact is, that's a very serious corruption situation.
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now, china is facing massive corruption. i would like to see each one of the leaders who has built a fortune through his family, etc., investigated in order to see to what extent that success has been a product of corruption. but the trouble is you would end up destroying the party, destroying the system. and by the way, with respect to courts, we keep talking about political influence. because that was the problem today. but courts are, have been distorted in their impact, their judgment by many factors. corruption is one, local protection is another, and the most severe and hard to eradicate is -- [inaudible] relations, who your friends are, your cousins, your classmates, etc. how that's going to be eradicated is difficult, and that's where ethics, legal ethics, the least-taught subject in chinese 640 law schools is
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legal ethics. and it's very boring to study legal ethics unless you have an unusually good teacher. but it happens to be a very, very important -- and taiwan, again, when i say a model, it's worthy to be studied. its function is to stimulate. not necessarily to be followed. the mainland has its own situation. but it can't ignore what's going on, and the people in china increasingly are becoming aware of what's going on in the taiwan. and that's a useful stimulus. >> o.k.. last part, because our time pretty much is up. but i want to ask both bill and paul this: if you were to sit down with the new seven members in total, the board of directors, if you will, the members of the standing committee of the politboro and you were to get their insights, bill, on how they perceive our legal system here in the unite,
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unite -- in the united states, which parts they like and which parts they don't like, and, paul, for you too, real quick, what is going through their head as they sit around that table? >> i think some of them would see advantages in our system. the new premier is trained at our universities, and i think he would understand. i do think some chinese leaders understand that all this pent-up energy -- >> we will leave this program here to go life to london now where lord justice brian leveson will deliver his final report into the culture, practices and ethics of the british press relative to the phone-hacking scandal. this is just getting underway. >> good afternoon. for the seventh time in less than 70 years, there is a new report commissioned by the government dealing with concerns about the press. it was sparked by public revulsion about a single act;
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the hacking of the mobile phone of a murdered teenager. from that beginning it has expanded to cover the culture, practices and ethics of the press and its conduct in relation to the public, the police and politicians. this inquiry has been the most concentrated look at the press this country has ever seen. in nearly nine months of oral hearings, 337 witnesses gave evidence in person, and the statements of nearly 300 others were read into the record. i am grateful to all who have contributed. the report will now be published on the inquiry web site which also carries the statements, exhibits and both transcripts and video coverage of the
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evidence. for over 40 years as a barrister and a judge, i have watched the press in action day after day in the courts in which i have practiced. i know how vital the press is, all of it, as guardian of the interests of the public, as a critical witness to events, as the standard bearer for those who have no one else to speak up for them. nothing in the evidence i have heard or read has changed that view. the press, operating freely and in the public interest, is one of the true safeguards of our democracy. as a result, it holds a privileged and powerful place in our society. but this power and influence carries with it responsibilities
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to the public interest in whose name it exercises these privileges. unfortunately, as the evidence has shown beyond doubt, on too many occasions those responsibilities along with the editors' code of conduct which the press wrote and promoted have simply been ignored. this has damaged the public interest, caused real hardship and, on occasion, wreaked havoc in the lives of innocent people. what the press do and say is no ordinary exercise of free speech. it operates very differently from blogs on the internet and other social media such as twitter. its impact is uniquely powerful.
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a free press in a democrat holds power to account -- in a democracy holds power to account. but with a few honorable exceptions, the u.k. press has not performed that vital role in the case of its own power. none of this, however, is to conclude that press freedom in britain -- hard won over 300 years ago -- should be jeopardized. on the contrary, it should not. i remain firmly of the belief that the british press -- i repeat, all of it -- serves the country very well for the vast majority of the time. there are truly countless examples of great journalism, great investigations and great campaigns. not that it is necessarily
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appropriate for the press always to be pursuing serious stories for it to be working in the public interest. some of its most important functions are to inform, educate and entertain and, when doing so, to be irreverent, unruly and opinionated. but none of that means that the press is beyond challenge. i know of no organized profession, industry or trade in which the serious failings of the few are overlooked or ignored because of the good done by the many. were it so in any other case, the press would be the very first to expose such practices. the purpose of this inquiry has been twofold. first, it has been to do just
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that, to expose precisely what has been happening. secondly, it is to make recommendations for change. as to change, almost everyone accepts that the press complaints commission has failed in the task if, indeed, it ever saw itself as having such a task of keeping the press to its responsibilities to the public generally and to the individuals unfairly damaged. there must be change. let me say this very clearly: not a single witness proposed that either government or politicians -- all of whom the press hold to account -- should be involved in the regulation of the press. neither would i make any such suggestion. let me deal very briefly with the idea that the inquiry might not have been necessary if the
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criminal law had simply operated more effectively. there were errors in aspects of the way the phone-hacking investigation was managed in 2006. and in relation to the failure to undertake rater reviews. and there are -- later reviews. and there are some problems that need to be fixed with the criminal and civil laws and also in relation to data protection. in particular, exemplary damages should be available for all media torts including breach of privacy. in the end, however, law enforcement can never be the whole answer. as we have seen, that is because the law breaking in this area is typically hidden. with the victims generally unaware of what has happened. even if it were possible, and it is certainly not desirable,
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putting a policeman in every newsroom is no sort of answer. in any event, the powers of law enforcement are significantly limited because of the privileges that the law provides to the press including for the protection of its sources. that is specifically in order that it can perform its role in the public interest. what is needed, therefore, is a genuinely independent and effective system of self-regulation of standards with obligations to the public interest. at the very start of the inquiry and throughout, i've encouraged the industry to work together to find a mechanism for independent self-regulation that would work for them and would work for the public. lord hunterwill and lord black
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of brentwood stepped forward to lead the effort. they put forward the idea of a model based on contractual obligations among press organizations. on monday afternoon of this week with the report being printed, i received two separate submissions from within the press telling me that most of the industry was now prepared to sign self-regulation contracts. the first submission recognizes the possibility of improvements to the model proposed so far. the second expresses confidence that the model proposed by lord black and lord hunt addresses the criticisms made at the inquiry. unfortunately, however, although this model is an improvement on the pcc, in my view it does not
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come close to delivering in the words of the submission itself, quote: regulation that is itself genuinely free and independent both of the industry it regulates and political control. any model with editors on the main board is simply not independent of the industry to anything approaching the degree required to warrant public confidence. it is still the industry marking it own homework. nor is the model proposed stable or robust for the longer-term future. the press needs to establish a new regulatory body which is truly independent of of industry leaders and of government and of politicians. it must promote high standards of journalism and protect both the public interest and the rights and liberties of
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individuals. it should set and enforce standards, hear individual complaints against its members and provide a fair, quick and inexpensive arbitration service to deal with civil law claims. the chair and the other members of the body must be independent and appointed by a fair and open process. it must comprise a majority of members who are independent of the press. it should not include any serving editor or politician. that can be readily achieved by an appointments panel which could itself include a current editor, but with a substantial majority common availably independent of the press and of politicians. in the report e explain who -- i explain who might be involved.
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although i make some relations in this -- some relations in this area -- some recommendations in this area, it is absolutely not my role to establish a new code or to decide how an independent, self-regulatory body would go about it business. as to a standards code, i recommend the involvement of an industry committee which could include and involve serving editors. that committee would advise the regulatory body, and there should be a process of public consultation. in my report i also address the need for incentives to be put in place to encourage all in the industry to sign up to this new regulatory system. guaranteed independence, long-term stability and genuine benefits for the industry cannot be realized without legislation. so much misleading speculation
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and misinformation has been spread about the prospect of new legislation that i need to make a few things very clear. i am proposing it only, only for the narrow purpose of recognizing a new, independent self-regulatory system. it is important to be clear what this legislation would not do. it would not establish a body to regulate the press. that is for the press itself to organize and to do. so what would this legislation achieve? three things. it would enshrine for the first time a legal duty on the government to protect the freedom of the press. secondly, it would provide an independent process to recognize
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the new self-regulatory body and thereby reassure the public of it independence and efficacy. thirdly, it would provide new and tangible benefits for the press. as members of the body, newspapers could show that they act in good faith and of sort comply with standards based on the public interest. decisions of the new recognized regulator could create precedents which could in turn help a court in civil actions. in addition, the existence of a formally-recognized, free arbitration system is likely to provide a powerful argument as to costs should a claimant decide not to use that free system or, conversely, if a newspaper is not a member. in my view, the benefits of
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membership should be obvious to all. .. be 34r-rb >> i firmly believe that these recommendations for self-regulation are in the best interests of the public and the press. they have not been influenced by any political or other agenda, but based on the evidence i've heard, by what i believe is fair and right for everyone. what is more, given the public interest role of which the press is rightly proud, i do not think
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that either the victims i have heard from, or the public in general, would accept anything less. turning to the police, the relationship between police and public is vital to the essential requirements of police consent. the press have a very important part to play in its promotion. although there has been a limit on how far it has been possible for the inquiry to go, because of the need not to prejudice any ongoing investigations, whatever operation concerning corrupt payment to officials, might reveal, i have not seen any evidence to suggest that corruption by the press is a widespread problem in relation to the police. however, while broadly endorsing
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the approach of and we've used into police governance, i have identified a number of issues that i recommend should be addressed. as to the press and politicians, the overwhelming evidence is that relations on a day-to-day basis are in robust, good health, and performing a vital public and just functions of free press in a vigorous democracy. every day in her action between journalists and politicians cause of no concern, that seemingly politicians across the spectrum have accepted a number of respects the relationship between politics and the press has been too close. i agree. what i am concerned about is a particular kind of lobbying, conducted out of the public eye,
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through the relationships of policymakers and those in the media who stand to gain, or lose, from this policy being considered. that gives rise to the understandable perception that the power of the press to affect political fortunes may be used to influence that policy. this in turn undermines public trust and confidence in decisions on media matters being taken genuinely in the public interest. this is a long-standing issue, one which, over the years, across the political spectrum has repeatedly resulted in opportunities being missed to respond appropriately to legitimate public concern about press behavior. the press is, of course, entitled to lobby in its own
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interests, whether editorially or through the political access enjoys. it is, however, the responsibility of the politicians to ensure that the decisions that are taken are seen to be based on the public interest as a whole. this means the extent to which they are lobbied by the press should be open and transparent. and that the public should therefore have a basic understanding of the process. in this limited area i have recommended the consideration should be given to a number of steps to create greater transparency about these influential relationships at the top of politics and the media, and so address the issue of public perception, and hence, trust and confidence. a good start would be for those steps towards greater transparency to be taken in relation to press lobbying about
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this report. similar considerations apply to the role of ministers when taking decisions about the public interest in relation to media ownership. i believe that democratically accountable ministers are the right people to make these decisions. however, i have made recommendations as to how the process can be made much more transparent to ensure that in future there should be no risk, even of the perception of bias. it is essential that the uk retains a plural media with a genuine diversity of ownership, approach, and perspective. in my opinion, the competition authorities should have the means to keep levels of plurality under review, and be
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equipped with a full range of remedies to deal with concerns. i must now place on record my thanks to all who participated in the inquiry. these are, the ss is to advise in areas of their expertise, and who were selected by the government with the support of leader of the opposition and the prime minister's words, and i quote, for their complete independence from all interested parties. robert jay and counsel for presenting such a massive volume of evidence so efficiently. everyone in the inquiry team who has worked so hard to achieve so much in such a limited time. the core participants and their lawyers. and most of all, the public who have provided evidence, views and submissions.
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as i said at the beginning, this is the seventh time in less than 70 years that these issues have been addressed. no one can think that it makes any sense to contemplate an eighth. i hope that my recommendations will be treated in exactly the same cross party spirit which led to the setting up of the inquiry in the first place, and will lead to a cross party response. i believe that the report can and must speak for itself. to that end, i will be making no further comments. nobody will be speaking for me about its contents, either now or in the future. the ball moves back to the politicians court. they must now decide who guards
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"the guardian's." thank you all very much. [applause] >> wrapping up our coverage of the final report in the inquiry into british phone hacking with judge brian leveson calling for an independent press regulator established by law to eliminate unethical behavior. coming up at about 10 eastern this morning, we do expect for the remarks on our report from british prime ministers david cameron. we'll have live coverage on our website at c-span.org when they get -- gets under way. you should note we have extensive coverage of the lesson in court on our website, including testimony from major media and government figures, phone hacking victims and executives at rupert murdoch's news international and the center of the investigation. again, all of that at